Make IE History

11 July 2011

While doing a revamp of one of our sites I decided to gather together a case for dropping IE 6.

I had great joy in showing which shows that IE6 accounts for 2.3% of browsers from Australia’s internet users. Ohh and did i mention… that site is made by Microsoft. The browser stats for the current site showed that less than 1.5% of the users were on Internet Explorer 6.

This put a massive smile on my face, which quickly turned into a happy dance, when we decided to drop support for IE. I’m not sure I need to go into how much of a big deal that is, but I guessed it would save me around 200 lines of css, with better selector support ” > ” and a whole lot less hacks.

So what of the IE6 users

What do they see when they go to the new site

  • IE6 Specific Stylesheet
  • Suppress Javascript
  • An update your browser message

IE6 Specific Stylesheet

Basically, I’m removing a lot of extra advanced functionality, so I’ve removed a bunch of elements from the page. Things in the css are:

  • Display none for any dropdowns
  • Simplified styles for elements with complex child nests which get help from the ” > ” selector
  • Setting height 1% to float clearing

This can be added to the page using:

<!--[if IE lte 6]>Only IE6 can read this<![endif]-->

Suppress Javascript

This put a smile on my face, basically, I do a simple browser sniff for ie6 and then return early.

Display a message to the user

This one, was fun. I wrote a little bit of javascipt which sets a persistent overlay to the user explaining that their browser is not supported, and offers some upgrade options. It will keep popping up until the user closes it. Which sets a cookie for 1 week. Then it will appear again.

You can see it in action in my playground and fork it on github.

Matt Sain

Ramblings of a developer, designer and child subscribe

This blog is a public GitHub repository. If you find an error I will not be surprised... but if you fork and edit the blog and send me a pull request you'd be pretty awesome in my book.

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